The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has claimed that shipbuilding companies would “win contracts because they are the best at what they do”.

The context surrounding the claim is the First Minister responding to a question by Murdo Fraser MSP, regarding how many ships an independent Scotland would build.

Sturgeon insisted  contthat Royal Navy contracts would still come to Scotland if the country separates from the UK because of the quality of work emanating from the nation’s shipyards. The issue with this is two fold, firstly the people ordering would have to want them to be built in what would then be a foreign country. Secondly, they would have to find a way around ITAR legislation.

One side, the Scottish government, say that naval shipbuilding would continue on the Clyde if Scotland left the UK. The other side, the UK government, say it would not.

The SNPs own manifesto however points out that the party want all UK naval work restricted to UK yards. This would exclude an independent Scotland from competing.

This isn’t the first time this claim has surfaced, Ian King, then chief executive of BAE, earlier indicated in a letter submitted to the Scottish Affairs Committee before the Scottish independence referendum that shipyards on the Clyde would likely have to close if Scotland votes for independence. The future of the yards at Govan and Scotstoun is directly tied into the Type 26 frigates and Mr King has said BAE would build the ships at a location compatible with the contract awarding process of the Ministry of Defence.

The Ministry of Defence, the customer referred to above by Mr King, has recently made clear that leaving the UK would influence the ‘location of the build of the ships’.

The full statement was made by then Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology with responsibility for Defence procurement and Defence exports in response to a question from Brendan O’Hara, MP for Argyll and Bute, regarding the Type 26 frigates.

“What I can confirm to the hon. Gentleman is that, had the independence vote gone the way that he and his colleagues would have liked, no warships would have been built on the Clyde, because the United Kingdom Government would not have chosen to build them there; we made that very clear.

John Dolan, GMB convener at the Scotstoun yard in Glasgow the last time this claim was made, said:

“Listen, I assure you that if we go for independence we will not be building. We have been told quite clearly by the UK government, personally, I have been told quite clearly that will not happen.”

It is well understood in industry that companies based in an independent Scottish state would no longer be eligible for contracts that the UK chose to place or compete domestically for national security reasons.

Aside from the UK not placing tenders for complex warships internationally, there’s also the matter of contracts using US technology. Defence contractors that work with items or technology of US origin are also covered by undertakings given in accordance with the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), under which any change to an existing US export licence requires US State Department approval.

An independent Scottish state would be a third-party country, not covered by existing UK-US ITAR agreements. UK companies would not have authority to transfer items and information that is subject to ITAR licence to their subsidiaries or other companies in an independent Scottish state or to a Scottish national, without US approval, anymore than it could transfer such material to organisations or individuals in other foreign states. Every licence held by companies in Scotland working on ITAR-controlled items would have to be re-approved if Scotland became independent which would take years.

Other than procurement activity undertaken during the World Wars, the UK has not had a complex warship built outside of the UK since the start of the 20th century at least. All the Royal Navy’s new complex warships are being built in UK shipyards and the UK Government remains committed to utilising the strengths of UK industry in this specialist and complex area.

A shipbuilding source who wishes to remain anonymous, told us that:

“We would still be doing the work. We just wouldn’t be doing it in Scotland.”

Scotland would still need a navy right? Up to date facts on what an independent Scotland would operate at sea, let alone what it would build aren’t easy to come by.

This concern was also expressed in evidence to the Committee by representatives of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions, who commented that “unless an independent Scottish Government could provide equivalent-type orders [there has so far only been an indication that a handful of vessels would be procured], we would be greatly reduced or completely finished as a shipbuilding industry”.

Significantly increasing Scotland’s share of the global naval ship export market would be very challenging. The existing major naval ship exporting nations are: USA, Korea, Russia, France, Germany, Turkey and the Netherlands. These are likely to be joined soon by Brazil and Japan. Servicing and repair of ships takes place in all of these countries plus Chile, and this list is likely to be joined by the United Arab Emirates. Many of these nations benefit from having significant sized navies of their own, with economies of scale supporting competitiveness in the international market.

How many are currently planned?

It stands to reason that an independent Scottish state would certainly see lower domestic demand for defence goods due to a much smaller budget.

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farouk
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farouk

It appears that the SNP are advised by the same experts that labour use.

Spyinthesky
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Spyinthesky

Sadly you are correct, when people say a Party would never claim total porkies they knowingly could not fulfil you really only have to look at this matter. The SNP will claim or promise anything to get Independence over the line knowing having achieved it they can simply ride out the s–t fanning while bullshitting and deflecting much of the blame south of the border till criticism fades. So it’s difficult to believe they have an exclusive contract on arguing black is white. Any entity desperate to gain power with individuals knowing it’s their last personal chance and confirming it… Read more »

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Sadly, you are right. Politics i sbroken and not just in this country.

Scotland joined the Union because it was broke. It is not picking the best set of conditions to seek independence, but as you suggest reality and politicians seem to have parted company…

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

NEITHER SCOTLAND OR THE s.n.p would survive in the real world.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

IF THEY WERE TO BECOME INDEPENDENT, I HOPE THAT WESTMINSTER WOULD CANCEL THEIR CONTRACTS THEN WE CAN ALL LAUGH WHEN SCOTLAND COMES CAP IN HAND, SAYING ITS GOT NO MONEY

Bloke down the pub
Guest
Bloke down the pub

I’m sure Putin would be happy to provide funding in exchange for basing his submarines on the Clyde.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha…… well, if Commissar Corbynov got into government then this is a distinct possibility.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

GOOD, THAT WORKS FOR ME THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND

Rob
Guest
Rob

Not this again. There would be too much political pressure in rUK for this to happen in the long term. In the short term maybe, as it will take time to build an industrial base in Eng, Wales, or NI.

Rudeboy
Guest
Rudeboy

At best there would be no new awards, they might finish off existing contracts.

But what on earth makes them think that thy’d be competitive with an Italian yard? If Scotland was a foreign country what makes them think they’d be first in the queue in the unlikely even the rUK government ordered warships from foreign yards?

Sean
Guest
Sean

No any uncompleted ships would probably be transferred to another yard as happened with RFA Lyme Bay when the Swan Hunter hard got too fats behind in the work.

The government of the rUK would want to make an example of how Scottish independence was going to damage their economy. Incomplete warships being towed or carried by barge from Scottish yards would make a powerful statement on tv.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

finish off existing contracts not before the next millennium

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the only build warships in the u.k dogma has to go, in this commercial world competition rules best value, best quality. the clyde doesn’t provide either

James MacCallum
Guest
James MacCallum

Govt contingency planning (The ‘What ifs’) is well advanced on the scenario concerning an independent Scotland. Shipyards in the rUK are well placed to take on Naval surface fleet construction. Be in no doubt, movement of contracts will mean the movement of shipbuilding and (most importantly), shipbuilders (staffs) from Scotland’s yards will quickly ensue. Just like the exit of huge Financial institutions currently ensconced in Edinburgh. Follow the money…currency issues and national debt aside.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

Sturgeon and Blackford are a serious threat to Scotland, I’m not joking here….I don’t think that their Country could recover from the serious setbacks and loss of income.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

would scotland qualify for foreign aid payments, due it being as marginalised a nation as the sudan? then we could bomb it

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

Typical of Sturgeon and the SNP: dismiss any and all concerns regarding their independence.

She probably thinks that it wont matter, that there will be countries lining up 5 minutes after independence to have their ships built there.

Either she believes that and is deluded, or more likely doesnt care and just wants Scottish independence at any cost, even if they end up an insignificant backwater with no real industry.

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

“Either she believes that and is deluded, or more likely doesnt care and just wants Scottish independence at any cost, even if they end up an insignificant backwater with no real industry.”

This.

Looking forward to the rest of the comments……

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Yes. Scotland is the size of Norway. How many F35s would Sturgeon procure? Norway has ordered 52. I think the number would be somewhat less than zero.
An independent Scotland defence expenditure is a rump of Norway’s.

If shipbuilding went to rUK then Scottish workers would move wholesale to the UK. They would take their pay packets and their Tax & NI contributions as well. Army recruits would as well. Scottish armed services would be as useless as Ireland’s.

Julian
Guest
Julian

My suspicion is that, were Scotland to go independent under the current SNP with all its spending priorities elsewhere, Ireland (Republic of) might well be an indication of what a Scottish military might look like, possibly to the extent of having no fast jets and rUK having the same arrangement with Scotland as it has with Ireland in terms of intercepting Russian incursions & similar.

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Will they pay us to defend them? Will they themselves pay for as many maritime patrol aircraft as Norway?

Julian
Guest
Julian

Good questions. Maybe QRA in return for basing in Scotland? All that stuff would need to be negotiated.

The EU withdrawal negotiations have been complex. Scotland departing the U.K. would be t least as complex I suspect. I hope it doesn’t’ happen because the last thing the UK needs after this Brexit paralysis is A sequel that, like many sequels, might be worse.

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Julian, the only way Scotland would be independent would have to be under the SNP, none of the other parties are wanting it. As for any quid pro quo defence arrangements in the event of any split would no doubt involve Fassers/Coulport quite prominently, while the SNP are currently suggesting they’d play hardball here, its quite a large bargaining chip, at least in the short to medium term. Defence really isn’t a priority for the SNP, it never has been, they’ve come out with some batcrap crazy stuff over the years including having submarines….. Like most people I know (admittedly… Read more »

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Well said Andy. Sadly the SNP have proven very capable of whipping up resentment of the Union among sections of the Scottish population. The really insidious element to this is the clear messages now being sent to England by the SNP in the form of interviews and press comments, designed to cause and foster resentment towards Scotland here and help drive in the wedge…. We have already discussed an independent Scotland clearly and obviously, can’t make ends meet economically, without heavy borrowing , tax hikes and draconian spending cuts… Sadly, if they whip up enough hatred, they ‘might’ just do… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

It boils my piss when I hear Ian Blackford turn every question in PMQ’s or interview into ‘Scotland Scotland Scotland’ but that’s what he’s there to do, as you say, drive a wedge in, put as much distance between Scotland and England as they can. Some of the legislation brought in up here is pointless but it makes us that little bit more different to the rest of the UK. All roads lead to independence for the SNP. I’ve posted elsewhere in this thread that I hope the ‘Remain’ campaign up their game from the last Indy referendum… and on… Read more »

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

Blackford is a disaster for Scotland and the Scottish people, he’s no patriot…….he’s an effing traitor.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

they’ll be like ireland expecting protection without paying for it

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

They already do mate, I’m pretty sure that the SNP don’t pay a penny for defence anyway.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

If Scotland became independent I think the rUK forces would offer all Scottish soldiers a choice if remaining in British Army or Scottish I fully think at least half would stay in British Army; where exactly would Scottish troops deploy to, either on Operations or exercise. In British army there is a chance to travel for different postings. Scottish army would likely never leave Scotland.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

best place to keep them build a barracks in john o’groats there wouldn’t be much indecision then.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

They could always join the EU Army, that’ll be great fun……… NOT!!
Just think, if they really did join the fascist EU, we could withdraw all weapons and equipment funded by us…..that would screw sturgeon and Blackford big time.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

Correct mate, if the SNP got their way and got independence, will be responsible for the total collapse of the Scottish economy and a huge rise in unemployment…..
Great job Sturgeon and Blackford!!

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

Sturgeon is probably going to give up any military force, she probably has the same thoughts on defence as Commissar Corbynov……,

Rob
Guest
Rob

Why so negative towards our friends north of the border? The SNP are a political party that has roughly 35% support, they don’t speak for the majority of Scots.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

Shipbuilding is one of Scotland’s major industries; if they go independent then the work all comes south into England, maybe Northern Ireland. They will lose a major industry along with thousands of jobs and billions in trade. Not to mention their main export, oil, is at a low at the moment and there is a worldwide movement towards electric vehicles. May take 30 years or more but the number of petrol and diesel used will decline. Eventually planes and ships will have alternative fuel sources, meaning the market for crude oil will decline and with it, much of Scotland’s economy.… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

get the italians to fix their wall and put another 6 feet on the height of it

Cam
Guest
Cam

U mean Romans?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

mexicans, or just get’wiggy trump’ to do it.

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

Wake up Andy, the wall is entirely inside England.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

The thing is Steve, all the SNP have to do is convince enough ship yard workers they are right .

They honestly don’t seem have a serious plan other than ‘smoke and mirrors’ policies, joining the EU (and the Euro by default) and hoping they will make up the serious economic shortfall, is their only real hope of making it work.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

a party led by a politician named after a fish again, whats with ese people? the last leader was a salmon!i’m not sure we have, or even want, we certainly don’t need friends north of the border. do they have television up there yet? they’ll certainly qualify for foreign aid!

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

” do they have television up there yet? they’ll certainly qualify for foreign aid!”

If I thought you were genuinely trolling I wouldn’t have replied. You do know who invented the television, aye ????

Oh, and i generally cringe at the “wha’s like us” crap.

Cam
Guest
Cam

It was a Scott that invented the TV you idiot!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

which explains why scottish television company is so poor.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

Ha Ha Ha Ha……..Zing!!!

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Rob I agree totally with you. The Scottish are a marvellous people, proud, kind but this is the SNPs strategy. Get the Scottish to feel a stronger grievance and dislike of the English then they might currently have. Then drive the English to dislike the Scots. They are a one policy party the SNP. Instead of their negative policy of independence they should be concentrating on delivering what they have now. A max devolved region. They are solely responsible for the state of Scotlands public services and infrastructure, just like parliament in Westminster is for England. I think without the… Read more »

Alan Reid
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Alan Reid

Mr Bell, Apart from some hard-core nutters, the Scots do not dislike the English ………… we are no longer in the 14th century.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

the S.N.P ARE

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

CORRECT……..Have a shiny gold ⭐ mate!!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

like the irish,they’d expect defending but not paying for it

Cam
Guest
Cam

Exactly, seems some here hateus scottish, we have millions of English living up here and we get on fine!!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

same credence as the greens

Sean
Guest
Sean

Not forgetting all the other UK government work currently handled up in Scotland; tax offices, passports, etc would all move south of the border. And while an independent Scotland would need their own, they’d be far far smaller.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

maybe we could export the scum in our jails up there too

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

They are hellbent on destroying Scotland in every way possible for some strange reason….
Voting SNP and then voting for independence will seriously damage everything that is good in Scotland.

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Tiring isn’t it? I mean of course the poisoned dwarfs nievety and delusional state. Some cold hard facts If Scotland were to vote for independence then 12-15% of the national debt, that they have helped to run up, should go with them, a little several hundred billion £ gift from rUK. Barnett formularly last year 14.7 billion given by rUK. Then there is overspend relief, despite the devolved government having powers for everything apart from defence and foreign affairs ,they still required a quietly hushed up £2.7 billion extra on top of their budget settlement and Barnett formularly last year.… Read more »

Sean
Guest
Sean

Not forgetting reimbursing the UK for bailing them out over their failed Darian Scheme in Panama that bear bankrupted Scotland.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i’d love to see an independent scotland an the look on sturgeons face when the rest of the U.K’S armed forces move out past the newly rebuilt(by the italians, well it is THEIR WALL (it just needs raising 50 feet).

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the last referendum cost millions of £ the scots should be told if they want another vote, then scotland will pay for it, we’ll see what MRS KRANKIE has to say about that. tell them westminster will not give scotland foreign aid two years later, when its bankrupt

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i don’t remember reading that the scots had guns to their heads when they signed the act of union which shows why the word of the scots is not worth the paper its written on.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Surely it doesn’t matter what the SNP say… they aren’t the builders… BAE systems are. And if BAE decide to uproot and move construction elsewhere, is there anything the SNP can do about it? (Not that it’s as simple as that, but you get my point) If the UK held a second EU referendum and decided to remain, it would be interesting to see what becomes of the SNP. I would be very disappointed if Scotland decided to leave the UK (if we eventually leave the EU.). This whole Brexit malarkey has really divided the UK on so many aspects.… Read more »

Richard Cooper
Guest
Richard Cooper

I cannot see why we would build warships up there. If we gave a contract to an English yard, they would have no difficulty in recruiting Scots from the moribund Scottish yards, and we would get the taxes.
The SNP will have to learn that independence is just that – no more goodies!

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Agree Richard, end of financial bailouts, end of Barnett formularly, end of “goodies” with I would hope immediate effect the very second Scotland votes for independence.

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Hi Richard, Mr Bell ….. some of these comments do make me chuckle. It’s not “bail-outs”, it’s funding. It’s not “goodies” – it’s contracts. No one disputes that Scotland has economic challenges, and receives government expenditure more than the UK average (per head of population, 2016-17 figures) – but so does the North of England, and Wales, and Northern Ireland – and London! One of the richest cities in the world is one of the biggest recipients of British government funding (or state-aid as you would probably call it!). Such figures do make some of the comparisons on this thread… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Your logic is wasted Alan, if and when wee Jimmy gets her way, I fear we’ll be living in some Mad Max still wasteland, preying on each other and queueing up at the border hoping to become refugees….
If you believe some of the fantasist fruitloops on here anyway.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

Andy……there’s a simple way of ridding your fantastic Nation of the scourge of Scotland that is the SNP……..make sure that you don’t put an X in the SNPs box on the ballot paper…..Happy Days!!
We Nations of the United Kingdom come together and work as a team and if I’m honest, we make a great team. I can’t understand why the toxic SNP want to destroy what we have worked so hard for….other than their own personal gain and self satisfaction.
Rule Brittania 🇬🇧

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Steve H,
Democracy can be a bugger eh ? While they’re not my bag, there is a sizeable minority (at the moment) who do like them. Its the same if you’re a Labour voter and get a Tory government and vice versa.

Unfortunately we’re a tribal bunch us people and nationalism has always been an effective rally call because so many of us buy into it to a greater or lesser extent.

Geoff
Guest
Geoff

Two words : HMS Forth.

Sturgeon is bonkers

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

BINGO!!

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

One concern I have is the dry dock at Rosyth. It is the largest in the UK and I think the only one that can hold the QEC (unless the dock at H&W is big enough?). Would the rUK build a new dry dock south of the boarder or would we get the hull maintenance carried in Scotland and the systems work along side in Portsmouth? Disentangling defence procurement and support activities should Scotland vote for independence is not going to be cheap or easy, but I cannot see rUK tax payers standing for billions of their tax pounds being… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

Tee side and get the contracted ships built there. too harland wolff have built big ships before, just need to dig the filled in ones dug again bye, bye, scotland i hope. just so we can enjoy the dishevelled backwater it will become.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

if it wants a navy, RENT them a few archers

Lusty
Guest
Lusty

Belfast dry dock is some 335m in length. Belfast building dock is 556m. Rosyth largest dry dock is 310m. Though I believe the Belfast dry dock would require considerable work.

There’s some talk about expanding one of the locks at Portsmouth to house a carrier. Doubtful it would happen without serious investment.

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

“but I cannot see rUK tax payers standing for billions of their tax pounds being spent in a foreign country.”

Um…. like the US ? Remind me, where do we get the F35’s ?
If I mind right we got zee Jarmans to fix the SA80’s…..
We buy pistols from Austria….
I could go on.

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Andy we purchase from those facilities because it suits us, rum can easily regenerate shipbuilding and bring it all back to North Ireland, Wales and England, leaving an independent Scotland with nothing. Just takes a political decision to do that. I think a newly independent Scotland would be treated quite briskly by rUK who will have very little sympathy for job losses in the Clyde, closure of lossiemouth and Rosyth.
Currently we build ships in Scoyland and bases troops there because we are a United Kingdom. If scotland votes for independence we will no longer be united.

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Yeah I get that Mr Bell and while Defence does contribute to the Scottish economy, I think some on here have a vastly inflated idea of how much it contributes. Its also something that a lot of SNP supporters find a bit ‘distasteful’, the whole arms stuff so while it might be something the rest of the parties would be desperate to keep in this hypothetical scenario, the SNP might be happy to lose and blame THE EVIL ENGLISH for. I was replying to a post that suggested the UK would be reluctant to buy equipment from other countries, that… Read more »

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

I agree Andy P, like most modern countries, the Scottish economy is dominated by Services – certainly not defence. Indeed Edinburgh is a major financial services centre.

Cam
Guest
Cam

Lossiemouth is there for a good reason all the trading grounds up scotland, never mind cape wrath, the only place in Europe they can use 1000+ bombs I believe, the RAF And RN need these areas to train.

Douglas Newell
Guest
Douglas Newell

UK is the only Tier 1 partner in F35 program, due to us investing in the development. 15% of each F35 is built in the UK. The UK is expecting to buy 140 odd F35, but build 15% of 5000 F35 … approximately 750 if my maths is right. Looks like we are making more than we buy.

So “Andy P” your point is what?

Douglas Newell
Guest
Douglas Newell

And rail kits and modifications for guns, and an order of pistols is hardly the same as multiple warships at a billion quid a pop!

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Just a couple examples off the top of my head. The UK has purchased equipment from other countries for years. I was replying to a post, I’ve already explained that. I didn’t think it was that difficult a concept to grasp. For clarity, IF Scotland leaves the UK then I’d be very surprised if the UK built ships there. Are we all keeping up ????? The UK would continue to buy defence equipment from OTHER COUNTRIES. In the future that MAY include this hypothetical independent Scotland. Scotland may even get to build some RFA’s as Westminster is so keen to… Read more »

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Hi Andy, Fair point, although I would make the following clarification. The UK gets a significant off set in the F35 programme, boardering on the generous to be honest. Then there is the fact that over the last 30 to 40 years there has been huge changing in the Western and in particular the European defence industry that means it is inevitable that a portion of any large defence project will go ‘overseas’. However, that does cut both ways. Large overseas projects that include companies with UK holding will see work come to the UK, off setting to a greater… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Can’t dispute any of that mate, there’s going to be a lot of ifs, buts and maybe’s if Scotland get independence. As we’ve seen with Brexit, these things are waaayyyyy more complicated than we realised.

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Or were told / are being told. Politics in this country at the moment is broken. Since the turn of the century I have had less and less hope about our politics. I thought it couldn’t get any worse than the Brexit lie-fest, until the general election got underway. We have just suffered nearly 10 yrs of austerity and now suddenly every party is falling over themselves to spend, spend, spend. I want an end to austerity as much as the next person, but can we do it sensibly please and not throw away what little we gained during years… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Great post CR.

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Thanks Mate.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Cancel HS2 which most people are saying will likely cost over £100bn to complete and all of a sudden the cost of building at least one brand new suitably sized dry dock begins to look trivial let alone doing the work to bring the Belfast one back to full spec. It’s a matter of spending money wisely and if Scotland were to become independent I think that regenerating rUK shipbuilding capacity would be a wise investment. Spending over $100bn on infrastructure is great but all on one high speed rail line? Spreading that budget around across a number of worthwhile… Read more »

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

I actually think HS2 needs to be built. Investment has been far too focused on the South East for decades and to be honest that imbalance is not helping anyone. I was brought up in the South East, but much of my family live in the North East so I see both sides of the issue. The South East is now grinding to a halt – the traffic in even small places is grinding to a halt and the issues with the railways in the north are now well reported at national level… Although the railway companies appear to be… Read more »

Julian
Guest
Julian

I suspect you’re last comment might have been light hearted but in class it wasn’t maybe I should have been clearer – I wasn’t suggesting anything like all of the HS2 budget got reallocated to spend on shipbuilding 🙂 . Even £500m of the HS2 budget would go a long way re shipbuilding. On the rest of your comments I agree with your general point about how so much infrastructure investment has been South-East-centric, I just tentatively (because I am not an expert) disagree with your conclusion that HS2 needs to be built. How would the impact compare if half… Read more »

Julian
Guest
Julian

“you’re” = “your”. “in class” = “in case”. What ever happened to the edit function for comments? Grrrrrr

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Na the £100b was more to do with not re-reading properly to be fair. I’m not a rail expert either and have heard pretty much the same points being made. I also remember way back in the late ’80s a new train timetable was introduced that put York within 2.5 or 3hrs of London. (Just checked the fasted journey is 1hr45min!) House prices shot up as a number of well to do city slickers moved to north and commuted to London. So yeh HS2 likely to benefit the few rather than the many. My support is half hearted and based… Read more »

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Dry dock at Harland and Wolff is bigger by 30m length and 4-5m width. Just needs a bit of a refresh, both QE carriers can easily be serviced or more built in Belfast, once the dry dock is reconditioned. Babcock purchasing the site and now joining Navantia to bid for MARSS ships probably means the dry dock will be revamped alongside the construction halls. Rosyth is NOT the only possible location. Scotland has a monopoly on final assembly currently but hopefully that will change and little cranky will get a rude wake up call.

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Mister Bell, Harland and Wolff is a grand old yard with a great history. But isn’t that in one of the most politically volatile parts of the UK? Last time I checked, there were an awful lot of angry nationalists in Northern Ireland – and furious about Brexit. Hardly a safe investment for the UK defence industry. And say what you like about Sturgeon and Salmond – but the most anyone has every suffered from Scottish separatists is a nose-bleed.

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Thanks for the info. I knew there was a large drydock at H&W, but now I know just how big.

Of course, there is always the risk that we recondition the yard only for Northern Ireland to vote to join the Republic. Given the failure of the power sharing arrangements and the Remain vote within Northern Ireland and I would suggest that is not such a remote scenario as it once was. DUP stance notwithstanding.

BIG D
Guest
BIG D

It’s a shame that independence of countries within the uk is even being discussed, there is no question that we are better together. For example Scotland what new power’s would it give them to sacrifice the union, I mean for what they would lose. Being from the north west of England I myself have issues with Westminster. They are far from perfect for the North but better than any other choice.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

we could re invade them, tell them see you at culloden moor, problem solved

Alan Reid
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Alan Reid

Andy, Not Culloden again! LOL The battle was the culmination of a British civil war – over 20% of the British Army that day consisted of Scots (including the famous Black Watch).

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

You have to laugh at the notion that Culloden was an England V Scotland thing, it was Britain V Highland barbarians, can’t be arsed to double check but I’m sure there were more Lowlanders fighting the teuchtars than English.

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Hi Andy P, The Jacobite army consisted of Highland and Lowland Scots, plus Irish and French – and English. And just to muddy the waters even further, there were many Highlanders in the British Army – including the Campbells (the so-called British clan).
British history is never easy …. !

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

I forgot about the Irish and French, silly of me as part of the ‘pull’ was along religious lines.

Certainly not the English V Scottish that some see it, just another chancer pulling whatever levers he could to try and get the top job. There’s certainly a lot of ‘tartan sh1te’ around the whole thing, even after the last Indy vote, the ‘remainers’ started calling themselves ‘The 45’. Cringe..

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Hi Andy P, On the Scottish side, some Episcopalian and Catholic Scots versus the establishment Presbyterian Kirk.
The story of the Highlands is not the story of Scotland, and the “tartan shite” drives me bonkers as well ………. LOL

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Is this a subject you’re particularly interested in Alan ?

The tartan shite…. ya gotta love gaelic guff written on railway signs and police cars in the Lowlands, lets reinvent history, my cynical side thinks this is part of the ‘programme’ to make ‘us’ more different from ‘them’, its all very tribal but then people are I suppose.:-(

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Hi Andy, I like the Jacobite period because there’s so many myths wrapped up in it, especially in Scotland. It always makes me chuckle to see someone trying to spread a bit of grievance around about what’s supposed to have happened almost 300 years ago! On the subject of Gaelic, why try and re-establish a moribund language? And as a Lowland Scot, my ancestors in Ayrshire spoke Auld Scots. Why isn’t that on the side of police cars !?! Gaelic is as alien to me as Norwegian. But as you said in an excellent earlier post, it’s all about the… Read more »

Cam
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Cam

No not culloden I live a couple miles from there! My house would be trashed.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

the utter stupidity of that krankie look alike never fails to make me laugh

700 Glengarried Men
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700 Glengarried Men

Proud Scot and Brit, I agree if independence happens the work in the yards should go to RUK . I live on the Clyde and would see the devastation that would unfold by Scottish exit. TO Andy R Scotland would survive but we would be a good bit poorer, and would have an impact on UK as a whole. In my time 25% of the army were Scots and a good percentage higher were SF. SNP offer manna from heaven and at this time Scotland benefits from the Barnett formula allowing us to spend higher than England. The way I… Read more »

BIG D
Guest
BIG D

Join the discussion… Now that is good thinking

Andy P
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Andy P

“Faslane the SNP believe is the big stick however to counter this I would seek the USA to accommodate the missiles and close Faslane”

That could be a workable alternative I hadn’t considered, good one. The bombers would still need a decent base port but for the weapon moves somewhere like Kings Bay could be an option.

Like yourself, I just hope it doesn’t come to it.

700 Glengarried Men
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700 Glengarried Men

Andy Faslane is unique in Britain as it offers a deep water protected exit for subs, transitting to patrol areas it is pretty useless as a surface vessel site, and would only close it if I was being held to ransom

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

Ignoring the shipbuilding issue thats the least of the issues facing an independent Scotland. ITAR and EAR is a huge issue . Not just for the military but also civilian companies. It covers everything from the obvious Missile components, chips etc but also UAV ( Air, Surface and sub surface) tech, Oil Drilling tech, VHF radios, GPS and even life jackets and horses ( Honestly…life jackets and Horses are covered by the rules) What would happen to the much vaunted Scottish oil industry when the underwater drone operators conducting safety surveys on rig legs or pipelines cannot get a license.… Read more »

Andy P
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Andy P

You raise some good points but where money (and nuclear safety etc) are involved I’m sure there will be some hasty arrangements made, its not like independence would happen overnight. Other countries manage so I daresay an independent Scotland would. As has been said elsewhere, the SNP really don’t need to worry about this, all they need to do is convince enough people to vote for it. Hopefully the ‘Remain’ side have learned from the last 2 campaigns and up their game, having been through both referendums I thought all the arguments were poor with a lot of lies and… Read more »

ChariotRider
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ChariotRider

“politicians really are a shower of self serving barstewards.”

Are they ever! I now struggle to decide if I am even going to vote these days. I used to vote for the Lib Dems with hope for positive change, but as a disabled person I have been on the wrong end of the coalition / Lb Dem policies and cannot forgive them.

Frankly I do not like any of the options – they are ALL rubbish and seriously bad news. Politics is seriously broken in this country…

Andy P
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Andy P

Hi CR, I was spoiling my ballot for a fair while as I don’t feel an affiliation for any party. I’ve recently got more engaged with politics, more out of fascination than anything else and I’ll be voting for a party I could never have seen myself vote for next month. It’ll most likely be back to drawing a ‘cock and balls’ on my ballot after that though…..

Although voting tactically against the SNP has a certain appeal.

Ron5
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Ron5

Gluing on bolts doesn’t help their image or future sales.

Cam
Guest
Cam

I bet it was an English guy that done it lol

Alan Reid
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Alan Reid

A story about Scottish independence always seems to bring out the worst in some fellow Defence Journal posters. A pity really, because we’re usually such an intelligent bunch! LOL For the record, as one of the majority of Scots who supports the union, an independent Scotland would have many economic challenges, plus would be giving up a great deal of influence; but it is a viable independent country, and to suggest anything else is ridiculous – and frankly insulting. Arguing for a form of civic nationalism, in a constitutional manner, is perfectly acceptable – and the abuse hurled at Sturgeon… Read more »

Andy P
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Andy P

Great post Alan, for whatever reason Scottish independence seems to drop people on here’s IQ by about 20 points and it gets very tribal, lots of ‘us’ talk etc. I could almost understand it if there was anyone on here actually supporting independence and coming up with counter arguments. I guess like pretty much every form of social media or forum, its easy to work yourself up for a good old rant.

Cam
Guest
Cam

They act like Scotland’s never done anything but moan in this union and hasn’t contributed anything! Even just old industrial breakthroughs scotland pushes above their weight!. Sad to see the hate, I too am a pro union Scott, and I can see why some Scots hate the English.

Frank62
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Frank62

Scotland is a great nation & valued member of the UK. The Scottish aceivements & contibution to the UK is immense & we must value & respect Scotland accordingly, even were they did one day to chose to leave the UK.
Venting hatred of the Scots is blatent racism & diminishes any regular posters on here who do so.
It’s only SNP pipe dreaming anyway.

Alan Reid
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Alan Reid

A great post, Frank – and it’s that mutual respect that will keep all the nations on these islands together.

ChariotRider
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ChariotRider

Alan Reid, great post. For the record I hope Scotland votes to remain part of the Union, but she has the right to leave if she so chooses. I actually feel that the UK should be proud of its’ democratic ethos, if this was Spain, for example, the SNP would likely be locked up! That’s not a dig at the SNP or Scotish Independence, just saying that so far at least the debate has stayed within the bounds normal political exchanges and process. Although the standard of political debate and has been falling across the board in recent years which… Read more »

Cam
Guest
Cam

It pains me to see whats happened to Scottish ship building and it’s the most successful in the UK! Shows how much we have lost.

Val
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Val

The UK is the Country that is made up of four states (not nation States) which are two old Kingdoms one Principality and one Province, but should all be equal. The US is a multi state country too, just like many others. My Country will always be Britain and the UK (with Northern Ireland, which is why the UK title is still used as it came about because of union with Ireland originally).

4thwatch
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4thwatch

Any wishful thinking on the subject will be disabused pretty swiftly if Scotland leaves the UK and sadly Scotland will be an Industrial wasteland in 5 years. There is a distinct shortage of sentimentality remaining south of Hadrians Wall.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

best at gluing ships together, more like

Douglas Newell
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Douglas Newell

Clearly the tactics of the Scotch Nationalists is to keep repeating their lies and hope enough of the sheep believe it.

Alan Reid
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Alan Reid

Hi Douglas, A Scot Nat might response, “Why not – it worked for Brexit!”

Andy P
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Andy P

Yup, I have a sneaky suspicion that there are a fair few on here who voted for Brexit, I guess its ok for Britain to be independent but not Scotland. Double standards methinks……

DISCLAIMER – I don’t want Scottish independence but am happy to debate issues. I realise some on here are a bit hard of thinking or just like a rant so feel the need for this disclaimer.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

the last independence vote cost millions, scotland and in particular should be told’you want another? well you can pay for it.

Expat
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Expat

Of course RN orders will come south of the border. The most efficient yard is in the rUK. However I don’t think Scotland’s economic future hangs on shipbuilding it’s more likely to depends on who’s in power in rUK. The SNP will need to raise a lot of revenue so will need to set high corporation tax and income tax. That’s not a problem if you’re neighbour is also doing the same but if they have much lower taxation Scotland will struggle to keep business north of the border. Oil is no longer the saviour even the Saudis are selling… Read more »

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

On your bike Jock!

In the unlikely event that the SNP get another independance referendum , having had a once in a generation stab & failed, all warship production should be taken back into the RUK where the jobs will be more than welcome.
The SNP are a minority within Scotland, yet talk & behave like all scots back them. If they spent their efforts on doing things better for the people of Scotland they would acheive far more & win them over than playing petty politics with Westminster.

peter french
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peter french

Wish full thinking again by the First Minister, whistling in the wind will not fool anybody.
As always the SNP want their cake and eat it too. Well there wont be any cake to eat

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

Well well well…….this made me laugh my socks off when I read this article and it should confirm to the great Scottish people that the SNP are a total disaster for their Country. If they went with the SNP and opted for independence, all British naval contracts would cease immediately due to ITAR and our own security and the work would be distributed amongst the shipyards in England and Northern Ireland. The SNP have badly misjudged this situation which will cost the Scottish economy an absolute fortune in lost orders and also huge job losses, not only at the shipyards… Read more »

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

Reading all the comments on this thread shows how angry people are towards the SNP and the genuine concern there is about what they want to do. I know there’s a few funny dogs and jibes at each other but I’m 100% sure that the majority of people from both sides of Hadrian’s wall want to keep the UK together….for our joint ventures and prospects in the future……🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

andy reeves
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andy reeves

i love chuckle at mrs. krankies trash